The future looks bright: Light pollution rises on global scale

Getty Images

Getty Images

That study, published in the journal Science Advances, estimated the Milky Way is hidden from more than one-third of humanity.

Co-author of the study, Franz Holker, an ecologist at the Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Fisheries, in Berlin, said the data reveal "quite a critical problem".

Outdoor illumination grew at around 3 to 6 percent per year in the second half of the 20 century. While this has benefited human productivity and safety, it has come with a dark side: The night is no longer dark enough.

Half of Europe and a quarter of North America have experienced seriously modified light-dark cycles, the study authors wrote, calling it a "widespread 'loss of the night'". Experts stated that the solution includes utilising lower intensity lights, turning off lights when people leave an area and opting LED lights that are yellow instead of blue or violet since these tend to be the most unsafe to animals and humans.

"In addition to threatening 30 percent of vertebrates that are nocturnal and over 60 percent of invertebrates that are nocturnal, artificial light also affects plants and microorganisms", Hölker said. The migration and reproduction of birds, fish, amphibians, insects and bats can be disrupted.

Hornets Vs Spurs NBA Game Preview
Two years later, Howard was an All-Star after registering 17.6 points, 12.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks over 36.9 minutes per game. The Cavs will be back in action on Monday night, when they travel to Philadelphia for a match-up against the Sixers.

"We are convinced that artificial light is an environmental pollutant with ecological and evolutionary implications for many organisms from bacteria to mammals, including us humans and may reshape entire social ecological systems". There's also a lot more awareness of light pollution.

The researchers used data captured by Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on Suomi NPP satellite.

Researchers only analysed night-time lights during the months of October, to avoid any increase from holiday lights.

An analysis of satellite images has shown light pollution has increased by 2% a year from 2012 to 2016.

What it found was that due to the lower energy costs associated with light-emitting diodes, many areas use the savings to buy even more LEDs-a practice the researchers call the "rebound effect".

Delhi Metro ridership falls by 3.2 lakh during fare-hike month
Delhi Metro lost over three lakh commuters a day after a steep fare hike came into effect in October, an RTI query had revealed. The fare hike lead to a rise of around Rs 10 for almost every distance slab.

With few exceptions, growth in nighttime light was observed throughout South America, Africa and Asia. Countries that already were brightly lit, such as the United States and Spain, appeared stable. While some countries saw a decrease in light (namely Syria and Yemen), the results suggest that the global demand for outdoor lights has not yet been met.

As population and cities continue to grow, our influence on the natural world is also spreading. They make the nighttime side of our planet look nearly like a black-and-white map. The white-toned LED lights have more blue wavelengths, which VIIRS can not see. Too much blue light causes the human body to create less melatonin - a necessary sleep hormone.

Kyba said nighttime lighting also obscures the stars that people have witnessed for millennia. That means that the increase is actually even larger than what we report here. Moving to outdoor LED lighting was supposed to help the problem, but it's made matters worse. And Christopher Kyba says it just keeps increasing. Many people are still using light at night without really thinking about the cost.

The world is experiencing a marked increase in light pollution at night, a study has found, with the changes potentially playing havoc with our sleeping patterns and stopping us seeing stars.

Such solutions could save cities a lot of money, he added.

S&P downgrades South Africa's local currency debt to "junk" status
That could have forced index-tracking and rating-constrained funds to sell more than $10 billion in debt, analysts have predicted.

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